Kim Vogel Sawyer’s novel, A Whisper of Peace, is a story of finding one’s place in the world set against the rich background of late 1800′s Alaska. The main character’s struggles touched my heart, and I enjoyed the great historical details. They really helped set the stage in my imagination where Lizzie’s story played out. And, of course, I’m a sucker for an inspirational romance with a happy ending. If you’re the same, pick up your copy of this sweet, inspirational story at this link.
Want more details? Here’s the blurb from Amazon.com:Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother’s dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.
Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal—until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he’s ever seen.
But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?
***Thanks to Bethany House for providing a copy of the book for me to review.
Meet the Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer dreamed of being an author since her earliest memories. Seeing her books in print is sometimes still too good to be true. In addition to her writing ministry, Kim travels to women’s groups to share her testimony of God’s miraculous healing in her life—both physically and emotionally. She sees a correlation between the writing of a good story and God’s good plan for every life, and she hopes her stories encourage readers to seek God’s will in their own personal lives. Kim writes gentle stories of hope, offering her readers encouragement.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, the inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner fire.” ~Albert Schweitzer~
When I was growing up, my grandmother lived in a great old house with lots of bedrooms and antiques to investigate. We grandkids took turns spending the night with her and listening to her stories. Nannie had lived through World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, and many cultural changes. She had a wealth of life experiences from which to educate and entertain us, and we soaked up every detail.
So I can completely relate to the premise of Arleta Richardson’s books. Arleta’s grandmother was also a storyteller, who recounted memories of her childhood on a nineteenth-century farm. In the Grandma’s Attic series, Arleta retells those stories for the benefit of children all over the world.
Here’s an excerpt from the section that introduces each book in the series . . .
“One hundred years! What a long, long time ago that is! . . . The old kitchen where Arleta sat to hear many of Grandma Mabel’s stories didn’t look the same as when her grandma was a little girl. Back then there was no electricity nor running water. But Grandma still lived in the house she grew up in. Arleta had no trouble imagining all the funny jams that Grandma and her best friend, Sarah Jane, got into. Or how it felt to wear long flannel stockings and high-buttoned shoes.
From the dusty old attic to the front parlor with its slippery furniture, Grandma’s old house was a storybook just waiting to be opened. Arleta was fortunate to have a grandma who knew just how to open it. Her grandma loved to tell a story just as much as Arleta loved to hear one.”
For Katie Calloway it was an abusive husband who had decided to kill her. (Does that make your problem seem smaller?)
In the first chapter of this story, Katie decides that her days as a victim are over. She gathers her few belongings and heads north with her young brother Ned. Fortunately, she finds work and a great place to hide as the cook for a north woods lumber camp. And, of course, just the right honest, upright man comes along to protect her and provide a future for her. So an adventure that begins with an uncomfortable domestic situation becomes a sweet, uplifting story.
I’m the type of history buff who enjoys picking up period details from fiction stories, and I loved the historical setting of this novel. Author Serena Miller really captures the flavor of post-Civil War America with her wonderful descriptions and fleshed-out characters. Even other talented historical fiction authors have lauded her great storytelling, charming characters, and vivid scenes.
If it’s been a while since you’ve read an engrossing, inspirational story, grab a copy of this book today!
She’s twenty-two years old, raising fourteen little girls in a dot on a map called Uganda. How did Katie Davis, high school student from Nashville, Tennessee, end up mothering children in East Africa? In her own words . . .
“Jesus wrecked my life.
For as long as I could remember, I had everything this world says is important. In high school, I was class president, homecoming queen, top of my class. I dated cute boys and wore cute shoes and drove a cute sports car. I had wonderful, supportive parents who so desired my success that they would have paid for me to go to college anywhere my heart desired. But I loved Jesus.
Slowly but surely I began to realize the truth: I had loved and admired and worshiped Jesus without doing what He said . . . I wanted to actually do what Jesus said to do.
So I quit my life.
Lots of helpers
Originally, my quitting was to be temporary, lasting just one year before I went to college and returned to normal, American teenager life. But after the year, which I spent in Uganda, returning to ‘normal’ wasn’t possible.
I quit college; I quit cute designer clothes and my little yellow convertible; I quit my boyfriend. I no longer have all the things the world says are important. I do not have a retirement fund; I do not even have electricity some days.
But I have everything I know is important. I have a joy and a peace that are unimaginable and can come only from a place better than this earth. I cannot fathom being happier.
Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.”
Katie’s boldness and compassion truly inspired me. I was amazed to find such wisdom in one so young. The lessons she has learned touched my heart. And she also loves one of my favorite verses!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” ~Psalm 37:4~
Katie’s commentary: “It is not about God making my dreams come true but about God changing my dreams into His dreams for my life. As I go with Him to the hard places, He changes them to the most joyful places I could imagine.”
“The truth is I saw myself in those little faces . . . He blinds Himself to my sin and
my filth so that He can forge a relationship with me. And this is what He did for me with these precious children. He blinded me to the filth and disease, and I saw only children hungry for love that I was eager to share with them.”
Soak in her story and let it change you. Then pass it on to every young person you know.
***Thanks to Howard Books for providing a copy for me to review. I’m planning to share this book with my students. I pray that my copy becomes tattered and worn from passing through many hands.
Giveaway: This is the first October giveaway post!
At the end of the month, I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. All you have to do is comment on a giveaway post to be included in the drawing! So share your thoughts on this remarkable young woman below!
UPDATE: A winner of the September Amazon Gift Card has been emailed. Congrats, Jen @eighty mph mom!
Today was a dark, rainy, too long, depressing, very bad day. Fortunately, I picked up a little book, The Fulfillment Principle, that proved to be a great encouragement. Soak in these words from author/speaker Bob Westfall . . .
“There’s something you want, we all want. In fact, our hearts ache for it. Some of us realize it sooner than others. Unfortunately, some of us never realize it at all.
It’s joy. It’s fulfillment.
It’s pleasure and contentment and peace—an unending spring of living water—that runs deep within our very being.Do you have it?
Books have been written about going from ‘good to great’ and from ‘success to significance.’ But this little book is different. It’s intentionally written not to give you a temporary high or take you on a mountaintop experience, only to let you fall back to reality again, unchanged, trying in your flesh to cling to the concepts of some manual.
The 100-proof fulfillment principle conveyed through the stories and scriptures in this book is bulletproof. Fears arise, uncertainty looms, storms hit, but the joy is there, inside you—a rock that can’t be rolled, a fire that can’t be quenched, a contentment that can’t be contaminated.”
Parable of the Talents
So what’s the secret Bob shares in the book? You can find it in the Parable of the Talents, especially Matthew 25:21, where Jesus says, “Well, done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your Master.”
Each story and example focuses on identifying what talents—what treasures, abilities, passions or skills—the Lord has given us and then making an all-out effort to invest them for His kingdom. Bob says the ROT or “return on talent” God promises is JOY! He shares a quote from Erma Bombeck that sums up what our goal should be . . .
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.’”
Need some encouragement today?Pick up your copy of The Fulfillment Principle at this link. Believe me, it would make a great gift for a man or a woman. Since I love gift baskets, I can imagine filling a basket with Almond Joys and other goodies and topping it off with this book. And, hey, Christmas is coming, so I could also add ornaments that say JOY or a cd of Joy to the World . . . I could go on and on!
***Thanks to The B & B Media Group for providing a copy for me to review.
I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories on my blog, Doorkeeper. I'm so glad you stopped by to visit me. Blessings! ~Renee Ann Smith~